Just Wrong – The Strangest Rap & Basketball Connections


The NBA and hip-hop are no strangers to one another, but there have been moments when they’ve made strange bedfellows. With the new basketball flick Just Wright starring Common as an injured NBA All-Star and Queen Latifah as his love interest, opening today, here’s a roster of the strangest basketball tie-ins in rap. —Rondell Conway

STARTERS

B-Ball Best Kept Secret
Back in 1994, the idea of Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Kidd and Gary Payton teaming up with a couple of borderline stars (Dennis Scott, Cedric Ceballos) and serviceable vets (Brian Shaw, Chris Mills) on the court would make for a championship contender. But throw them on an ill-fated rap album with a host of second tier rappers (Warren G, Grand Puba, Sadat X) and you get T’d up for a flagrant foul. In hindsight David Stern should’ve suspended the whole lot of them for this unsportsmanlike conduct on the mic.
Jason Kidd feat. Money B “What The Kidd Didd”

Allen Iverson “40 Bars”
The Answer had a killer crossover that Michael Jordan could testify to, but on the mic he was a cross between Tupac and Jim Jones—more thug than talent. Which meant Jewelz (A.I.’s rap moniker) was bad news for the league. Ultimately, this rap song got benched by rap and sports fans alike. Luckily he didn’t go in for “400 Bars.”

Drake on Degrassi: The Next Generation
How did Drake go from playing a hoop star turned quadriplegic on the popular TV series Degrassi to putting out the hardest shit with Dwayne Carter? There are a couple of theories behind that, but however you look at it, Young Money’s White Knight is holding weight in the game. Eddie Curry.

Charles Barkley’s Taco Bell Ad
Chuck always said he was no role model. So future advertisers pay close attention at how not to use an overweight Hall of Fame basketball player on a Tim Burton-like studio set, with raps written by someone just barely smarter than a fifth grader. That’s Turrible!

Magic, Larry, and Friends In Converse “Weapon” Commercial
Before Nike was the preferred sneaker for the NBA’s elite players, Converse designed the “Weapon” of choice for the league’s best hoopers. To promote the hightop kicks they brought together an all-world line up of talent, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Kevin McHale, Bernard King, and Mack Aguirre, to rap a few lines about the shoe. It wasn’t a bad look overall, but if today’s NBA player rapped about weapons it would have a totally different meaning. Hold ya head, Gilbert Arenas!

BENCH SQUAD

“Hit ‘Em High (The Monstars Anthem)”
While Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny took on a ferocious gang of B-balling aliens in the Looney Tunes movie Space Jam, hip-hop provided the soundtrack to the intergalactic showdown. B-Real, Coolio, LL Cool J, Method Man, and Busta Rhymes were the starting five for this animated mean team of hip-hoppers.

Master P’s “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!”
We know P once had aspirations of ballin’ in the low, the hip-hop mogul even had enough skills to garner summer league tryouts with the Charlotte Hornets in 1998 and the Toronto Raptors in 1999. However, when he tried to marry his two loves, basketball and rap, in the video for his 1998 single “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” the result was an over the top halftime show.

Shaq vs. JabbaWockeeZ

Age may have slowed the Big Shaq-tus, but at the 2009 NBA All-star game the future Hall of Famer proved that he still had some fancy footwork on the court.

All Eyez On Z-Pac

David Stern has taken the NBA global, but we hardly think he expected to see the Atlanta Hawks’ Georgian big man Zaza Pachulia spitting raps in his native tongue.

Shaq-Fu Gets Busy With the Fu-Schnickens

Today, it’s no big deal to see Shaquille O’Neal rock the mic, after all he’s hands down the best rapper the league has seen, but in 1993 seeing the burgeoning superstar break into the rap game as a protégé of the New York rap trio Fu-Schnickens was odd. Word is bornin’.

NBA In Auto-tune

Credit the NBA for creating the dopest ads among the three major sports. It’s the place “Where Amazin’ Happens,” it’s where Kanye West can inspire a playoff run, and where the auto-tune was resurrected for a late season run. Unfortunately, the new NBA commercials featuring cleverly edited sound bites of NBA players using auto-tunes vocals has as much flare as the San Antonio Spurs offense.

Lil Kim Dates a Ballin’ Cross Dresser

Lil Kim has had her share of roles in Hollywood flicks, but one of her early turns in the 2002 cross-dressing basketball movie Juwanna Mann as the gold digging girlfriend was as random and forgettable as Tracy McGrady on the New York Knicks.


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  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    One glaring omission: Kobe’s album (brilliantly titled “K.O.B.E.”) that was never released but leaked. Dude’s flow was horrendous.

    • zherow

      Co-sign to the fullest! That joint with him, Beanie Sigel & Black Thought wasn’t bad though (well, Thought & Sigel’s part, anyway)

      • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

        Yeah “Philly Live” – Kobe ruined that track. Beanie & Thought both came off.

        Beans: “Put 8 in your chest like a Kobe jersey…”

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Damn XXL..calling in Grand Puba and Sadat X 2nd tier rappers is just plain fuckin disrespectful………..u guys are starting to piss me the fuck off

    • what what

      What tier rappers were Puba and Sadat X in 1994? You saying they were superstar (first tier) rappers in 1994?

  • just sayin

    lmao at the cover pic for this story. XXL you know that was wrong. lol im just sayin

  • P. Harris

    No Sunset Park?

    Above the Rim?

    Soul In The Hole?

    I refuse to vote for any of that shit above…

    *sidenote*

    Shaq had a couple of hot joints yo… ie. “No Hooks” “Can’t Stop The Reign” the mix with Biggie on it?

  • swype-matic

    I gotta admit, that A.I. “40 Bars” go hard, in an Uncle Murda guilty pleasure kinda way, and ya’ll did miss Kobe’s “K.O.B.E” w/ Tyra Banks, shit was worse than A-Rab goin’ for 300 Bars

    • Mr. Uda

      i cosign that A.I. track….its got that 90s east coast gutter feel to it…..i would rather listen to A.I. than some of the bullshit they play on this website….”i know killers that kill for a fee but you they do it for free”…lol A.I. is a fool….

  • q461

    lol that b-balls best kept secret joint was garbage.. still remember the join with Ceballos and Warren G….

    Shaq’s rap career = garbage…he was ok on that Fu Schnickens joint cause his verse was short so that shit was tolerable…

    A.I and Kobe= garbage on the mic..lol that Hit em high joint from Space Jam wasn’t that bad though..

    Fredro in Sunset park… Pac in Above the Rim…just a sidenote : Any of yall remember the Michael Jackson video for “Jam” with Michael Jordan, Kris Kross and Heavy-D????? LMAO

  • these posts are racist

    Tupac, more thug than talent? Wow, Tupac epitomizes the word “talent”. He’s the greatest rapper of all time.

    • Diamondz

      Fuck tupac hes frying in hell right now

      • these posts are racist

        “Diamondz” or should I say “Fugazi”

        Provide proof that Tupac is frying in hell right now.

  • Technique

    That Space Jam shit is bangin stiil I think. Lol and A.I spit better than over half the shit I hear now days…… Kobe is the worst rapper probably of all time.

  • http://hottstash.blogspot.com kasiology

    how could y’all forget the “Tru Warrier”… Ron Artest. that dude was shitty ass-cheeks

  • Raw Dog

    “How did Drake go from playing a hoop star turned quadriplegic on the popular TV series Degrassi to putting out the hardest shit with Dwayne Carter?”

    I think you mean paraplegic. A quadriplegic loses movement in both arms and both legs.